Cooking with Lisa: Browned Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies

Editor’s note: This article was initially published in The Daily Gazette, Swarthmore’s online, daily newspaper founded in Fall 1996. As of Fall 2018, the DG has merged with The Phoenix. See the about page to read more about the DG.

For the last time: hey folks! This is going to be the last column I do for the Daily Gazette since I am graduating (AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH) in June.

I have successfully transferred all of my emotions onto Taylor Swift lyrics, and so am feeling really okay about everything.

I made these cookies for Sharples a few weeks ago and they seemed to be a big hit with everyone. I make everyone around me compliment me almost constantly so it is difficult to get an accurate read on any situation, but these compliments rang true.

This recipe is from my Joy the Baker cookbook, which I’ve used here before.


1 cup (2 sticks, essentially) plus 1 Tbsp unsalted butter

1 cup granulated sugar

1 ½ tsp vanilla extract

1 tsp molasses

½ cup light brown sugar

1 large egg

1 large egg yolk

2 ¼ cup flour

1 tsp salt

1 tsp baking soda

1 cup chocolate chips

If you want to dance while you bake, listen to Taylor Swift’s “22”, “We are Never Ever Getting Back Together” or “Our Song”. If you would like to cry while you bake, listen to Taylor Swift’s “State of Grace”, “Dear John”, or “All Too Well”.

First, brown 1 stick plus 1 tablespoon of butter. To brown butter,  slice up the butter. Put it in a skillet/ frying pan over a medium flame. I like to stir the butter as it browns, but you can also leave it be.

I have read innumerable instructions for browning butter and still don’t fully understand it. They say to watch for brown flecks and a nutty aroma, neither of which I’ve really noticed. I like to leave the butter heating up for a few minutes, making sure it’s turned darker and doesn’t seem to be burning.

Once you get tired of watching the butter or it is done, turn off the stove and take the pan away from the heat. Transfer the butter into a separate bowl to cool down.

MAZEL TOV, the most confusing part of this is over.

Next, cream the un-browned butter with the white sugar until the mix is creamy. If you do not have a stand mixer, just use your hands. I hadn’t done this by hand in a while and forgot how satisfying it is.

Add in the vanilla and molasses. I’d never used molasses before and didn’t know that it smells terrible. It works well in the cookies, but I would not recommend curiously smelling it really close up.

Once that’s fully mixed, add in the brown sugar and brown butter. I was worried that my butter hadn’t fully cooled, but as far as I know, as long as it’s slightly cooled it will not affect the dough.

Add the full egg and the egg yolk. To separate the egg yolk, crack the egg over a bowl or trash and quickly transfer the yolk from one half of the shell to the other until the whites have all fallen.

Sift/whisk/otherwise mix together the dry ingredients (flour, salt, baking soda) in a separate bowl.

Pour the dry ingredients into the rest of the dough as your mix (either in a stand mixer or someone holding while you stir. I’ve done this with and without a stand mixer: it’s all good.

Once everything is incorporated, gently add the chocolate chips.

Refrigerate for about thirty minutes, preheating the oven to 375 degrees.

Clean up while you wait. Watch this Canadian boy band video from the year 2000: it is the most incredible thing I’ve ever seen:

After thirty minutes, scoop or roll the cookie dough onto lined baking sheets. I did make them without parchment paper once, but it’s just easier with it. Bake for about 12 minutes, or until they are slightly browned on the bottoms.

Take them out of the oven and let them cool.

As I said above, this is my last baking column. I’m hoping to continue writing about baking after I graduate, although I have no idea where yet. If you would like to know where I am ending up, I’ll post about it on twitter (@metropolisa) and facebook.

Thank you for reading, it’s been wonderful.


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